holiday stressColorful lights twinkle, holiday tunes sing out across the radio, the shopping frenzy hits full steam … and your stress level spikes higher than the star atop the tree. This holly-jolly time of year brings with it a frenetic pace and a “To-Do” list that feels miles long. From gifts and parties to hosting relatives, each task seems festively fun but might get your tinsel in a bit of a tangle.

Seasonal stress takes a toll on your health, resulting in fatigue and possibly illness, or even anxiety and depression. And, no matter how hard you try to hide it, that stress will show up all over your face. High stress triggers certain hormones in the body, including those stimulating oil production in the sebaceous glands which may lead to more breakouts. Stress can also precipitate hives or fever blisters, skin rashes and aggravate chronic conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and rosacea.

Don’t let the Grinch steal your glow. Create a strategy to help you sparkle and shine throughout the holidays:

Make a List
No, not the Santa requests or the holiday card addresses. Write out a detailed, yet realistic, list of everything that you usually do during the season — whether that’s pulling decorations out of the attic or wrapping presents or cooking and cleanup duties. Don’t skip a single step; if making the traditional feast requires a grocery budget, several trips to various markets and a few days of preparation, then account for those requirements.

Check it Twice
Take another look at that list. Is everything on there? What about those last-minute items that pop-up each year? Try to divide the list into three sections —“Needs, Wants, Extras.” For example, you need to get the tree up, you want to volunteer in the community and you hope to make extra time to bake cookies for the neighbors.

Cross off the Naughty
Once the priorities are established, evaluate the other notes. What can you delegate? What can you eliminate? Show this list to your family; perhaps they hadn’t considered the effort it takes and are eager to become more involved. Maybe this is the year to let your spouse handle the card mailings, have a teen string up garlands and teach the kids your treasured recipes.

Add in the Nice
Okay, now it’s time to treat yourself as graciously as you would others. Try scheduling “me”-time each day. Literally put that on your agenda, blocking off at least thirty to sixty minutes of self-care and commit to it with the same focus as an urgent business meeting. After all, you’re a very important client. Put down the phone, turn off the TV and computer. This is time to center your thoughts and set your intentions. Take a brisk walk, try a new exercise class, light a candle for prayer or meditation, soak in the tub, sip hot tea and read or listen to music. Indulge in a massage or book a facial. Start a gratitude journal where you can actively count your blessings.

Small steps such as these might bring a bit more jingle to your holiday and help build healthy habits for the New Year. Check in with the team at Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery 770-667-3090 for advice about skin care treatments to keep you merry & bright.